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FreePint Newsletter
FreePint Newsletter No.361
18th October 2012


My Favourite Tipples

FreePint Features

  • Competitive Intelligence: Bringing Together Resources and Techniques
  • Mobility Is Coming: Are You Ready?

FreePint Subscription

  • FreePint Report: Competitive Intelligence
  • Prospect Research Strategy: Applications for All Researchers


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FreePint supports the value of information in the enterprise. We do this by publishing practical articles and reports on information practice, content and strategy.

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Robin NeidorfEarlier this month, I was conducting analysis on the data collected through FreePint's Benchmarking in Information Services project, examining where within large organisations certain types of information work is getting done. During benchmarking interviews, I ask information managers where "ownership" of such functions as knowledge management, content purchasing and information-related skills training lies.

Most of the information functions we discussed have ownership in disparate parts of the enterprise: IT, legal, human resources, research and "innovation" teams all get a piece of what once might have been centralised within an "information" centre.

One exception to this rule was competitive intelligence. Although the information managers interviewed described several approaches to how their organisations meet the need to perform competitive intelligence, they all described approaches that were sensibly staffed and directly tied to the needs of the business. Furthermore, they indicated that the CI function is one that has less difficulty justifying its existence (and budget) than many of the other functions. (Subscribers can login to read the analysis of where work gets done in more detail.)

Unlike other aspects of information work, competitive intelligence has the benefit of clarity, right from the name of the function. Anyone with a minimum of business experience has an inkling of the direct benefit of "competitive intelligence." In contrast, after 20-odd years of development of the domain, how many of us can describe "knowledge management" in 25 words or less?

Perhaps this is also one of the reasons we at FreePint publish so much in the category of competitive intelligence: In our focus on providing practical, actionable tips to professionals, CI articles and reports easily hit the mark. There are so many great tips and suggestions from experts in the field on using new resources and approaches to glean useful insight about competitors and the marketplace.

Every month, FreePint publishes a report collecting six months' worth of articles on a job function. This month's Report on Competitive Intelligence is one of the largest of these reports, second only to our Report on Research (last published in August). Guest editor Yulia Aspinall comments on the actionable nature of every article, review and comment in the report.

If only every area of information work could be as clear and actionable! But information is as ubiquitous and as hard to see as air: something essential for business health and yet invisible to the eye.

How do you make information visible to yourself, your bosses and your clients? I'd love to hear your favourite suggestions. Email me at and share how you make your work clear and actionable.

By Robin Neidorf
Director of Research, FreePint

 My Favourite Tipples

Scott AhlbergBy Scott Ahlberg

In short order, here are some sites and resources I rely on regularly to get a good perspective on the business world:

  • KnowledgeSpeak is where I get my daily news on publishing and the business of libraries.

  • The Big Picture blog cuts through the day's business and macroeconomic news with unrivaled insight and honesty.

  • I know a lot of Wikipedia haters, but when I need to research a company, no other source is likely to give me a better perspective than crowdsourcing.

  • For a laugh, I visit the Ridiculous Business Jargon dictionary.

I work with a great team of researchers at Reprints Desk, and when I need to know something I often ask them. So to round out my Tipples, here are a couple of go-to sources from my coworkers:

Scott Ahlberg is the Head of Global Services at Reprints Desk ( He has worked in various content and startup businesses for more than 25 years, starting with Dynamic Information (EbscoDoc) in the 1980s, then at Infotrieve during its rapid growth in the 1990s. He then consulted for a variety of startups before joining Reprints Desk in 2006. Scott has degrees from Stanford University (BA, 1984) and the University of London (MA, 1990).

Would you like to submit your Favourite Tipples suggestions to the FreePint Newsletter? Find out more »

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 FreePint Features

FreePint FeaturesFreePint Features offers the latest commentary on trends, issues and opportunities in the information world, as well as examples of how organisations use FreePint resources to raise the value of information.

Selection of the latest FreePint Features articles:

  • The soft side of practice - relationships
    By Scott Brown on Tuesday, 16th October 2012
    While I enjoy the 'hard' side of information work - data, competitive intelligence, visualisation - I continue to find the 'soft' side of information work fascinating in this edition of the Information Practice Newsletter.

  • Using Prospect Research Strategies to Improve the Research Process
    By Rachel Bates Wilfahrt on Tuesday, 16th October 2012
    Prospect research is used by non-profits to assess philanthropic capacity and inclination of potential donors. Rachel Bates Wilfahrt explores applications of this process and research strategy for researchers working in other industries. Resources for company information is one area in which researchers can dig deeper to enhance their research.

  • Whence come our information and opportunities?
    By Scott Brown on Tuesday, 9th October 2012
    Shifts in information sources and needs illustrate an ongoing challenge for information professionals and managers. Watching for new and emerging information sources and for opportunity is not nearly as clear-cut as it used to be. Read more about the changing landscape in this edition of the Information Content Newsletter.

  • Competitive Intelligence: Bringing Together Resources and Techniques
    By Yulia Aspinall on Tuesday, 9th October 2012
    Actionable insights come from analysing competitor and industry data. Answering the "so what?" question requires not just access to relevant resources, but also the selection of the right analytical tool. In this FreePint Report on Competitive Intelligence, we bring you reviews and articles on both areas - competitive intelligence resources and analytical approaches and techniques.

  • Never enough news
    By Robin Neidorf on Thursday, 4th October 2012
    Recent articles and reports offer a number of perspectives on the news category, an evergreen topic here at FreePint. Whether you are examining new premium resources that pull in social media alongside traditional sources, comparing free search engines for business content and risk, or considering new sources for news insight, FreePint content provides a guide. And if you want to compare your organisation's news needs and preferences to industry-wide patterns, participate in the current FreePint research survey on the topic.

  • Go with the flow
    By Scott Brown on Tuesday, 2nd October 2012
    Are we really freeing the river of information via information "streams" and other tools, or are these examples just spouts of water leaking from the dam? Read more in this edition of the Information Practice Newsletter.

  • Mobility Is Coming: Are You Ready?
    By Robin Neidorf on Monday, 1st October 2012
    In three short years, we've seen organisations make a leap from "not interested" in getting content onto mobile devices for users to "I need to figure this out NOW". But how ready is your organisation to begin deploying mobile content? Robin Neidorf offers some guidelines to help think about what readiness might look like in your organisation.

  • ... More ...

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FreePint WebinarsProfessional development... When?

Whenever you prefer. Access professional development when it makes sense for you. FreePint Webinars are archived and provided via video at no cost, with your registration.

Now available:

  • Getting into the heads of end users: what do they really want?

  • Performing Triage on the Information Flood

  • Mobile content evolution in the enterprise

  • Tend your garden: Influencing stakeholders and making your organisation look good

  • Evaluating Information Industry Services and Vendors

Learn more and Register for access to the video archives

 FreePint Subscription

FreePint SubscriptionArticles and reports included in a FreePint Subscription provide customer organisations with practical insight to support information practice, content purchasing and usage, and strategic planning.

Subscribers can click any link to login and view the full item. If you have not yet purchased a FreePint Subscription, learn more about the benefits now.

Selection of FreePint Subscription articles and reports:

  • Endorse, like, review - you scratch my back...
    By Tim Buckley Owen on Tuesday, 16th October 2012
    Facilities such as LinkedIn's recent skills endorsement functionality offer people the opportunity to acknowledge the achievements of colleagues and associates. But at what point does excessive, paid and "fake" endorsement start to dilute the currency and validity of endorsement?

  • Prospect Research Strategy: Applications for All Researchers
    By Rachel Bates Wilfahrt on Tuesday, 16th October 2012
    Prospect research is used by non-profits to assess philanthropic capacity and inclination of potential donors. Rachel Bates Wilfahrt explores applications of this process and research strategy for researchers working in other industries.

  • Cloud - it's an ill wind...
    By Tim Buckley Owen on Monday, 15th October 2012
    As cloud computing reaches some degree of maturity, plenty of doubts and uncertainties remain, as evidenced by recent surveys. There's worry about whether regulators are yet again falling behind the technology, but also that the case for the cloud is currently too technology-driven, and that the many products currently available aren?t making users any happier.

  • BYOD - opportunities where you least expect them?
    By Tim Buckley Owen on Wednesday, 10th October 2012
    Who will be the winners and losers from the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) movement? A little wave of recent reports indicate that it's caught the IT department on the back foot - and one suggests an unexpected possible gainer.

  • Where Is Information Work Taking Place?
    By Robin Neidorf on Tuesday, 9th October 2012
    Information services may no longer have the same headcounts as 20 years ago (or even 10 years ago), but they perform critical functions within organisations. Furthermore, the work that used to be performed within IS still takes place, but perhaps not in quite the same way or by the same job titles as in the past. This next article documenting the results of Benchmarking on Information Services illustrates some of the successes and frustrations of the evolving information function in the enterprise.

  • FreePint Report: Competitive IntelligenceFreePint Report: Competitive Intelligence
    Published on Tuesday, 9th October 2012
    Actionable insights come from analysing competitor and industry data. Answering the "so what?" question requires not just access to relevant resources, but also the selection of the right analytical tool. In this FreePint Report on Competitive Intelligence, we bring you reviews and articles on both areas - competitive intelligence resources and analytical approaches and techniques.

  • Selling social media in the organisation
    By James Mullan on Wednesday, 3rd October 2012
    If you're responsible for managing social media tools within an organisation, you should be considering creating a policy addressing the use of social media tools. This is no easy task, given how well used social media tools are within the consumer field, and the expectation that the same functionality will be available within a workplace. So how can you create a sensible social media policy - one that will be acceptable to everyone in the organisation?

  • Grim job market offers opportunities for some?
    By Tim Buckley Owen on Monday, 1st October 2012
    The financial industry is experiencing a severe job slump, as are many industries worldwide. So it's probably not the time when you'd expect new recruitment initiatives and sites to be emerging. Yet emerging they seem to be, in all sorts of different guises. What's the reason behind the push in recruitment initiatives?

  • Why do people share?
    By James Mullan on Monday, 1st October 2012
    Have you ever asked yourself why you share content with friends, colleagues or people you know on the many social media sites that exist? If you've been using Facebook, Twitter or Google+ since their inception, you might never have thought about why you share content, but the reasons may surprise you.

  • FreePint Report: Information Services Management Monthly Update (September 2012)FreePint Report: Information Services Management Monthly Update (September 2012)
    Published on Friday, 28th September 2012
    This monthly update collects the current content relevant to those responsible for information service management, information strategy and content procurement in a convenient PDF package for download and offline reading.

  • ... More ...

Latest FreePint Subscription content »

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FreePint Buyer's GuidesThe latest FreePint Report: Buyer's Guide on Competitive Intelligence

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One of the most common topics covered by FreePint, competitive intelligence is a discipline that you never stop learning about. Whenever companies find new ways to share information, CI professionals have new potential sources of insight.

Buyer's Guide reports combine FreePint articles with information about vendors that provide products and services for the discipline.

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  • Mini Review: Northern Light Discovery Portal
  • Essential resources for competitive intelligence research in biopharma
  • Competitive intelligence on a budget
  • LinkedIn buys SlideShare - a boost for CI researchers
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JinfoJinfo is the central location for supporting your information career.

The Jinfo Jobs database lists vacancies, and the Jinfo Events database lists workshops, conferences, training, webinars and other professional development opportunities.

Latest featured vacancies in Jinfo Jobs:

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    Top law firm seeks Info Officer to handle collection development & LMS, good knowledge of info systems & research databases is essential. | Recruiter: Sue Hill Recruitment and Services Limited | Country: United Kingdom. Full listing »

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FreePint supports the value of information in the enterprise. We do this by publishing practical articles and reports about information practice, content and strategy.

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The FreePint Newsletter (ISSN 1460-7239) is published by Free Pint Limited. FreePint is a registered trademark of Free Pint Limited, registered in England and Wales. Registered Number: 3754481. Registered Office: Delaport Coach House, Lamer Lane, Wheathampstead, Herts, AL4 8RQ.

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